150 representatives from across Southwest Florida came to DaySpring Episcopal Center on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017 to dedicate the new diocesan Program Center and Pool. The building is the completion of the first phase of improvements to the diocesan camp and conference center which broke ground in 2016.
“Thank you for gathering as God’s people to celebrate a new investment in God’s plan,” said the Rt. Rev. Dabney Smith, in a dedication service held in the new mixed use gathering space and auditorium. The complex sits at the center of the 97-acre Manatee River campus, surrounded by youth cabins and forest. “What we do here in this Program Center, is absolutely, all the time to live into God’s plan.”
The dedication service, which included the sprinkling of holy water around the building, in the pool, and in the classrooms and large gathering room, referenced the Old Testament’s 1 Kings 8, where Solomon faced the altar in the Temple and celebrated the promises made to King David by God in the construction in Jerusalem.
Youth/Adult Events and Conferences
The 12,500-square-foot center, which blends into the rustic old Florida surroundings of DaySpring, is now the center’s primary facility for youth and adult programs, art, music, recreation activities, retreats, teaching and worship.
While available to all DaySpring guests, the center is central to the growing Episcopal youth program at DaySpring, which has doubled its offerings to diocesan youth in the last two years. Participating in the dedication were counselors and youth team members, who took to basketball and volleyball after the service.
“The people I have met here have started out as friends and turned into family,” said Kristen Crosby, a camp counselor and member of the Youth Leadership Team who spoke at the dedication. “It is a place where I have learned so much about God’s individual plan for each person.”